Toronto’s anti-cycling mayor Rob Ford gets the boot

by Raymond Parker on November 26, 2012

in News, Politics

Bozo on bike lanes

There’s good news for cyclists everywhere this fine Monday morning: anti-cycling zealot and all-round corpulent blowhard Mayor Rob Ford has been shown the exit to Toronto City Hall.

His transgression, besides the hideous mien, involved conflict of interest—he voted on a matter which directly affected him financially—but many citizens of Hogtown are relieved today to be rid of the city’s embarrassing municipal mascot.

As one might imagine, social media is on the case. A Facebook friend from Toronto just posted “We are dancing in the streets.” The tag “#RobFord” is trending nationally on Twitter, and there is much merriment at the ex-mayor’s expense.

This report from Canada’s ranting comic Rick Mercer:

And my favourite:

Since taking office, the football coach turned politician has forged ahead with an agenda that included removing bike lanes and cutting back funding for public transportation … no big surprise considering the public anti-cycling position illustrated in the video above and his belief in the phony “war on cars.”

Two years ago, Ford was joined at his swearing-in ceremony by fellow troglodyte Don Cherry, who bloviated about “pinkos … that ride bicycles.” The judge included a 14-day grace period in his ruling—enough time for Ford to clean out his desk … or mount a challenge—but maybe this is the beginning of the end of the war on bicycles in Toronto.

So things are looking up in Canada. Now, if we can just get a court ruling on the so-called robocall scandal, we might get rid of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his reactionary war on democracy and the planet.

Ryan November 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I’ve been finding it rather funny that the pro law and order crowd are defending his actions — or deflecting it by saying it was strictly related to the $3000 and not the conflict of interest.

The bad news is that if he is granted a stay, he could pretty well serve out the remainder of his term AND what worries me are the suburbanites that will vote for him to spite the city.

In Ontario, people trying to defend Ford are bring up McGuinty’s screw-ups — which politically are poor in judgement, but nothing illegal.

With regards to Harper? I swear I hear/read some new scandal with the CPC daily — yet people don’t seem to care.
People are making a bigger issue out of comments made by Trudeau then the deficit skyrocketing higher then expected.

Raymond Parker November 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Funny you should mention the Scarberia effect. A Facebook friend responded to my post on the subject with the terse comment “‘burbs.”

I can’t blame you for being cynical; I have a pretty low opinion of the electorate myself. I’m hoping the results of today’s by-elections may give cause for hope.

Paul Glassen November 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

This past week in Nanaimo we have had a young cyclist killed by a car and a senior killed in a crosswalk by a car. The police and the newspaper took exactly the same attitude as Mayor Ford in this clip; “it’s their own fault”.
I have been stirring as much s…t as I can by contacting the paper, the investigators at the coroner’s office, at ICBC, the police (who have not returned my calls) and with the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coaltion.
I also wrote a strongly worded letter to the editor of the paper. It all feels so futile. In the letter I mentioned that we accept as part of the price of the convenience of the automobile that we kill over 30 deer a month, one a day, every day, year around in Nanaimo alone. How many children, pedestrians, cyclists will have to die before we show some concern over the use of our automobiles?

Raymond Parker November 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm

The daily carnage, were it caused by some other social ill, would be the subject of general outrage. As it is, we accept it as some kind of “natural” occurrence.

If you are referring to the man on the bicycle who was mortally injured the weekend before last in collision with a left-turning auto, we would be remiss in not mentioning that, according to Nanaimo papers, he was riding at night, without lights or helmet, in dark clothing, and under the influence.

Similarly, I (barely) see 10s of unlit cyclists nightly. One can only speculate what deficit compels them to believe they are immune to the laws of physics, let alone the road. Watch for a post on this issue.

Paul Glassen November 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Yes, Raymond, that focus on the failings of the cyclist is exactly what got me going. You had to read the article carefully to even discover that the car turned in front of the cyclist. For all his mistakes, and I would never ride the way he was, he could have ridden right past the car had it not turned into the oncoming lane.
Lights; of course I use them. But in reading about their historical use I came across this interesting claim (maybe you know something about it): “In the UK rear light laws were resisted by cyclist groups on the grounds they downplayed motorists’ obligation to be able to stop well within the distance they can see to be clear.” I drove by the scene of the accident after dark. Between my headlights and two bright orange sodium vapour street lights I could see fine. I think it was the all-too-familiar driver inattention that led to the tragic event – just as in your collision.

Raymond Parker November 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Paul: I must protest strongly against your comparison with the incident that changed my life, which occurred in broad daylight, and the accident that took the life of the hapless Nanaimo man.

While it is true that vehicles turning left in front of cyclists (and other vehicles for that matter) are a big problem. I question the guilt of the driver in this case, if reports are accurate. How about if the person who turned in front of him had been another cyclist (lets imagine they were lawfully lit) who did not see the guy because he had no lights? In that case, the law-abiding cyclist might have been on the losing end.

Sorry, if you ride at night without lights, all other factors become moot.

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